Rains may stall infrastructure projects

A car is capsized following flash floods in Makkah on Sunday. The Civil Defense Department in Makkah has stepped up efforts to save people from drowning. (SPA)

A car is capsized following flash floods in Makkah on Sunday. The Civil Defense Department in Makkah has stepped up efforts to save people from drowning. (SPA)

Experts in construction business have demanded that Jeddah’s Secretariat ensure that ongoing work at road projects and underpasses in the city are not affected by rains.

According to experts, there are many possibilities that the infrastructure projects will be severely disrupted if heavy rains hit the governorate and the secretariat does not intervene, forcing contractors to take precautionary measures.

Saud Al-Khadid, member of the Saudi Council of Engineers, said the most significant challenge they face are pumps malfunctioning and not being able to draw water out of facilities.

“We must take the necessary measures to deal with such situations because pump failure led to projects being flooded in the past,” Al-Khadid added, pointing out that some overpasses and tunnels had already suffered construction flaws that impeded the discharge of rainwater.

“Our past experiences should oblige the secretariat and the contractors who implement the projects to take the necessary precautions to prevent rainwater from reaching into the depth of the projects, in particular underpasses in the city center,” the engineer explained.

Abdullatif Nasr, engineering professor and specialist in project planning, said all bodies concerned should have learned a hard lesson from past experiences and must work toward securing and protecting the existing projects.

“One of the many reasons that delay and hinder the completion of service projects inside the city are heavy rainfalls,” he said, adding that “contractors must take preventive measures to protect their equipment and projects.”

Nasr said the entire operation must be subjected to the control and requirements of the secretariat, in view of its past poor experiences with a number of contractors.

Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras said the secretariat is preparing to open three new projects during the coming months.

“The projects involve building a number of overpasses on some main intersections in the city,” said Abu Ras.

Last week, the mayor toured the sites of these projects and said the secretariat is making every effort possible to complete the projects on time despite the many difficulties it faced while building vital overpasses and underpasses in the city center.

Meanwhile, a source in the control department in Jeddah’s Municipality said that securing the existing projects is the responsibility of the contractors.

 
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